When the network launched on Oct. 1, 1992, it aired around-the-clock cartoons including those from the Hanna-Barbera library — which includes “The Flintstones” and “The Jetsons” — at a time when ratings for morning cartoons were dropping and “The Simpsons” was making its mark in prime time.
Many thought Ted Turner’s idea to start the network was “crazy,” said Robert Sorcher, who worked there for its first five years. He said critics didn’t understand Turner Broadcasting Systems’ $320 million purchase of the Hanna-Barbera library or earlier acquisition of the MGM film library, which includes “Tom & Jerry.”
“It was not clear to everyone how this was going to be a successful network,” said Mr. Sorcher, now the network’s chief content officer.
But Mr. Turner believed Cartoon Network could fill a void and cater to both children and adults. Original productions began in 1994 with “Space Ghost Coast to Coast,” which led to several other original series that became popular including “The Powerpuff Girls,” “Dexter’s Laboratory,” “Courage the Cowardly Dog” and “Johnny Bravo.”
For more than 10 years, Adult Swim has featured mature content late at night. And shows such as the Emmy Award-winning “Regular Show,” “Ben 10” and “Adventure Time” have become mainstays of the network.
Now, the network is shown in more than 360 million households in 175 countries.
BET’s ‘Black Girls Rock’ to feature Keys, Warwick
Alicia Keys and Dionne Warwick are known for singing pop and R&B, but they’ll be honored as black women who “rock” on BET.
The “Black Girls Rock” special, which honors the accomplishments of black women, returns to the network Nov. 4; the actual ceremony will be held Oct. 13 in the Bronx, N.Y., with actresses Tracee Ellis Ross and Regina King returning as hosts.
According to the Associated Press, Miss Warwick will be honored as “living legend,” while Miss Keys will receive the “rock star” award. “Scandal” actress Kerry Washington will receive the “star power” award, while journalist Susan Taylor and Somali activist Dr. Hawa Abdi also will be honored.
The awards are an offshoot of the organization Black Girls Rock, created by DJ Beverly Bond to promote positive images of black women.
Fall’s new talk shows facing challenges
Less than a month into the new season, daytime television’s new players already have experienced two major shake-ups and increasing ratings questions for the fall’s biggest star, Katie Couric.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, on Friday, 20th Television, producer of Ricki Lake’s “Ricki,” announced that executive producer Lisa Kridos had been replaced by Gail Steinberg, who produced Miss Lake’s previous show. The move was seen as a distress call amid middling ratings for Miss Lake’s new show.
Then, on Tuesday, longtime CBS Television Distribution head John Nogawski was ousted, at least in part because of the disappointing start for “The Jeff Probst Show.” Sources say the decision to replace Mr. Nogawski after a 30-year tenure with foreign sales head Armando Nunez came from the highest level of CBS.